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The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Oct. 8

4. Frito-Lay Finally Bags Its Noisy Bag

Pepsi (PEP - Get Report) is proving itself to be the Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh of logo and product design. It's throwing hard, but more often than not its pitches are hitting the mascot.

The slump has not been short, but it's certainly been costly. First there was the widely panned Pepsi logo redesign, followed in short order by an absolutely disastrous Tropicana redesign. This week, the company's Frito-Lay division finally decided to let the sun set on its biodegradable SunChips bags -- which, much like the Pepsi and Tropicana fiascos, garnered attention for all the wrong reasons.


The earth-friendly bags were introduced in April 2009 to appeal to more environmentally-conscious consumers. But in addition to the bags' actual biodegradability being called into question, the larger issue quickly became one of noise. As in, "What the hell is that noise?!?"

Simply put, the bags were loud. How loud, you ask? Sorry, what was the question? We couldn't hear you over all the noise from those damn bags.

Still, instead of actually addressing the fact that its new bags were loud enough to spook a herd of bison, Frito-Lay decided to play the "green" card. And in doing so, the company committed a hallmark mistake: putting out a "green" product that didn't "work." That's how you end up with nearly 50,000 members of a Facebook group called, Sorry But I Can't Hear You Over This Sun Chips Bag.

So, bravo to Pepsi for damaging its brand twice: first by producing a comically loud package that annoys consumers ... and again by earning a spot in headlines for having to effectively recall its own bags.

TheStreet Says: What's it matter what we say, since you're not going to able to hear it above the din of your Sun Chips bag.

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